Indie bands could be hit hardest by Brexit

Indie bands could be hit hardest by Brexit

Almost two weeks on and it seems everyone is still talking about Brexit and what it could mean for the UK music industry. And, while no one can be certain of the implications an EU exit poses, it is the belief of many that up and coming independent bands could be hit hardest.

In speaking to a number of leading UK indie labels, Music Week has found that many are concerned for the future of young touring bands, as continental tours could be hampered significantly by ramped up travel costs and extensive red tape.

Ian ‘Wez’ Westley, founder of Hassle Records, told us: “We’re pretty gutted about it, we think it’s going to affect us quite badly. A lot of our bands tour and, at the moment, in one or two countries like Norway and Switzerland you have to have a carnet to get into the countries.

“For smaller level bands, that can be quite expensive. If you don’t do it and they catch you, they will fine you a certain percentage of the value of your equipment. It costs anywhere between £500-£800 to get a carnet done. If you have to have one done for each territory, that then becomes prohibitive if you’re only earning a couple of grand in each territory.

“So there’s the cost and then the practicality. We’re also not sure how different taxes will be imposed on the actual live fee itself. In most territories in Europe, it’s quite a simple process, where you receive money minus the agent’s commission. It may be that other taxes are imposed.”

You can read our indie-themed Brexit fallout piece in full here, with opinions from Bucks Music Group, Proper Music Distribution and Full Time Hobby.

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